Rising Sea Levels Move Maldive Residents to Buy Land In Case of Disaster
The Maldives plans to move money from tourism to purchase land in case of climate disaster. Eighty percent of the island country, comprised of 1,200 islands, rests at only one meter above already rising sea levels. More on these future climate refugees below the fold.The vice president-elect of the Maldives said this week said,
"worst-case scenario due to sea level rise would be that some or even all of our islands would become uninhabitable and we would have to look for alternative places for Maldivians to live."-Via: Financial Times
The country's new president, the first to be voted via a democratic process, was sworn in this week and has plans that go beyond buying land with tourism profits. He also envisions a sovereign wealth fund for the island nation's relocation and investments in alternative energy technologies. The vice president said the Maldives would seek international support to reinforce natural coral barriers.
With sea levels slowly rising, the Indian Ocean is predicted to submerge the Maldives within the next hundred years. There is rumor the Maldives' new land will be in Sri Lanka but displacement experts have noted key details that need to be figured out in climate refugee situations. Will a nation be re-founded on another nation's land?
Other similar island countries have begun to feel the effects of rising sea levels. Both Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu are struggling. The Australian green party requested special visas for Tuvaluan climate refugees but the government denied the request.
As sea levels continue to rise, displacement studies expert Scott Leckie told the Financial Times,
"The question [of relocation] needs to be sorted out by all 50 territories that stand to be affected by rising sea levels."
More on Climate Refugees:
World's First Climate Refugees to Be Rescued in 2009
US Leads World in Climate Refugees
Climate Paranoia Strikes Deep